Barcelona, Spain, is a great city to explore. I recommend at least 3 days to explore Barcelona. But if you have more time, you can take one or more day trips from Barcelona to explore Catalunya. The region is very diverse and Barcelona is an excellent hub for a day trip by train to explore more. Together with a few other travel bloggers, I give you the best Barcelona day trips that are super easy!
8 Easiest and Best Day Trips from Barcelona
Easy Barcelona Day Trips
From Barcelona, you can go basically everywhere in Spain. Go to Madrid from Barcelona or visit Valencia. Or visit a secluded beach on the Costa Brava or go hiking in the mountains. But I like to keep things simple and super easy for you. You don’t need to rent a car for these Barcelona day trips as they are super easy to organize yourself.
Click on the links below to jump straight to the section, or continue reading below.
- Sant Cugat del Vallès
- Wine & Cava in the Penedès Region
Experiences in this post are my own or from other travel bloggers. They might be experienced on sponsored day trips or not. This post contains affiliate links. If you book a day trip from Barcelona via one of my links, I’ll earn a small commission. This comes at no extra cost to you.
Day trip to Montserrat from Barcelona
Montserrat is one of the most popular day trips from Barcelona. You can escape the city of Barcelona and travel for 1.5 hours to arrive in the uniquely shaped mountains of Montserrat. Montserrat translates to the jagged teeth of a handsaw, which you understand once you see the mountains. They tower high above the landscape and it takes a train and cable car to get there.
Looking for to see what Montserrat is like? Check out my web story about my Montserrat day trip here.
Once you’ll arrive at Montserrat, there are plenty of things to do for the day. The highest peak in Montserrat is St. Jeroni, at 1.236 m (4,055 ft.) that you can climb in approximately 1.5 to 2 hours from the San Joan funicular.
If you’re not that much into hiking or climbing, you can visit the Montserrat Monastery. This is an important religious site for the Catalan people. You can visit the Virgin of Montserrat sanctuary or attend the choir practise of the famous boy’s choir.
Or just take your time, walking around, enjoying the views from one of Montserrat’s many viewpoints. Shop for artisanal souvenirs from Montserrat or visit the Montserrat museum.
How to get to Montserrat from Barcelona?
From Barcelona’s Plaça de Espana, every hour a train (R5) leaves for Manresa. After a good hour or 1.15 minutes, you’ll arrive at the different stops for Montserrat. There are 2 stops of interest to you:
- Aire de Montserrat for the cable car
- Monistrol de Montserrat for the rack railway
The most convenient ticket to get to Montserrat from Barcelona is either the Trans Montserrat Ticket or the TOT Montserrat ticket. They include the metro ride to Plaça de Espana in Barcelona, the return ticket on the train to Montserrat and return journey on the cable car or the rack railway to get to Montserrat. You can also take the different funiculars at Montserrat up into the mountains and many other extras.
Check for prices and the best rates for your ticket to Montserrat here.
Day Trip to Sitges from Barcelona
Sitges is a small beach town about 40 minutes southwest of Barcelona. The boardwalk is lined with palm trees and bright buildings. It makes for a great change of pace and to get away from the big city crowds of Barcelona.
There are a total of 17 beaches to choose from in this little coastal town. Stick to the ones closest to the main strip if you want to maximize your time in town and enjoy beach bars, facilities, and rentals. If you prefer quieter beaches, venture farther out to those that are more secluded.
If you’re a fan of rum, visit Casa Bacardí for a museum tour, tasting, or a mixology class. Don Facundo Bacardí, the creator of the famous Bacardí rum, was originally from Sitges.
Sitges is a very popular gay-friendly destination in Europe. There are many gay bars in the town, weekly summer beach parties, an annual pride event, and a week-long carnival.
Our favorite thing to do while we were in Sitges was simply exploring the narrow cobblestone streets and checking out the shops, art galleries, museums, restaurants, and gelaterias as we stumbled upon them. The architecture and buildings are very picturesque. Walk past the big church on Fonollar Street to see the popular old white buildings along the water.
How to get to Sitges from Barcelona?
It’s very easy to get to Sitges from Barcelona. The train runs about every 20 minutes from 5:38 am to 11:58 pm. Check the official timetable before making any plans. A one-way ticket is about 4 euros. No need to buy tickets ahead of time as you can buy them from the automated machines in the station.
There are 3 train stations in Barcelona you can choose from to get to Sitges. Passeig de Gràcia (right across from Casa Batllo) is the best station to get on. It’s less crowded than the next stop of Estació Sants, and you’re more likely to get seats. It’s a quick 30 minutes from Estació Sants, 37 minutes from Passeig de Gracia, and 46 minutes from Estació de França.
Look for the R2 train with a final destination of Vilanova i la Geltru or St. Vincenç de Calders. If you stay out late and miss the final train back to Barcelona, you can catch the night service on the Mon Bus. The bus fare is about 4 euros as well.
Day Trip from Barcelona to Sant Cugat del Vallès
Sant Cugat del Vallès is a peaceful city just 17 km from Barcelona and therefore, is the day trip with the shortest journey you can have. There is even the option to get there on foot by joining a walking trip from Tibidabo Mountain.
Sant Cugat del Vallès is especially popular for its old and impressive monastery. The monastery, as well as the church that belongs to it, are located right in the heart of the city. You will find many signs throughout the town pointing you in the right direction, so no way to miss it. The most beautiful part and the true highlight of the monastery is the cloister with its open patio in which you can walk around and take stunning pictures. Inside of the monastery is a museum. Here you can find out more about the history of the monastery and the town.
Buy your ticket to the Cugat Monastery in advance, here.
After visiting the monastery, you might also want to enjoy some food. Just walk over to the neighboring square in which the market of Sant Cugat is located. There, you will find all kinds of tasty foods. From fresh fruits and veggies to tasty meals and menus. From Japanese to traditional Spanish food. Just stroll around the aisles of the market and I am sure you will find something you would like to try. But also the little bars surrounding the market offer some great snacks and refreshing drinks to enjoy while sitting outside in the sun.
How to get to Sant Cugat from Barcelona?
The way to Sant Cugat del Vallès from Barcelona is extremely easy. Just go to any FGC Station (Ferrocarrils de Generalitat de Catalunya) and take the S1, S2 or S6. You will arrive in less than 30 minutes.
Or you can take a tour that includes a visit to Sant Cugat. For example, the Sant Cugat E-Bike Tour, where you explore the countryside by bike and visit the Monastery.
Day trip to Tarragona from Barcelona
Tarragona is a lovely little Cataluñan town just down the coast from Barcelona. The best way to explore the town is to head out on foot around the city. It boasts adorable local restaurants, a stunning sea view, and architecture you’ll gaze at for hours on end.
Sure, all of this sounds amazing. But the number 1 reason to visit Tarragona on a day trip is its rich history.
When the Roman empire still had control of the Iberian Peninsula, Tarragona was its Spanish capital. As a result, the little coastal city has its own Roman amphitheater, aqueducts, and tunnels characteristic of formerly Roman cities. It’s like taking a leap back in time and experiencing a side of Spain you may not have anticipated.
One of the best things you can do to really experience Tarragona is just walking. Walk the winding streets and stroll to the sea. Smell the aroma of the orange trees lined down the sidewalk in front of the central cathedral. Discover more with a free walking tour of the Roman Route, because the ruins are definitely worthy of a knowledgeable guide!
After you see the cultural and historical sites Tarragona has to offer, head into a local restaurant and order some paella. Your feet will need the rest, and your palate will thank you for the flavorful blend!
How to get to Tarragona from Barcelona?
To get to Tarragona, hop on the metro to Barcelona Sants Estació train station, using the blue (L5) or green (L3) lines. Once you get to Sants Estació, take the Renfe train to Tarragona station. If you take the Renfe Express, it’ll take about an hour and costs around 8 euros. You also have the option to take the AVE or Avant trains, which take around 30 minutes and cost as little as 15 euros. Either way, the views from the window will be lovely!
When it’s time to head back to Barcelona, take a train north on the same route. You’ll be back to your place in the city in no time with a full heart after a day of seeing Tarragona!
Day Trip from Barcelona to Girona
Girona is a beautiful Catalan city, located between Barcelona and the French border. Unfortunately, many of the tourists flying with low-cost airlines, treat Girona only as a transfer on their way to Barcelona.
The Onyar River divides Girona into two parts: old town in the south (Barri de la Catedral) and new in the north (Barri de la Mercadal). When you stroll along the river, you’ll see colorful houses with high facades reflecting in the water, several beautiful bridges, and looming towers. Most of the shutters are painted in vivid colors, the facade of the buildings are rather bright. There are many yellow-red Catalan flags hanging in the windows as well. We fell in love with Girona at first sight.
Girona also has an authentic old town, one of the five best-preserved in all of Spain. Independence Square (Placa de la Independencia) is the heart of the city, where you can meet the locals and have a glass of wine or sangria.
We recommend a walk through the old part of the city, starting from Plaza Catalunya. Our favorite street is the Sant Domenec, you can take beautiful photos there! Visit the cathedral as it is undoubtedly one of the most splendid churches of this type in Spain.
It is worth taking a walk through the narrow streets winding among tenement houses, looking into shared rooms, staircases and courtyards in the Jewish Quarter (Call Jeue). The stroll can be extended by entering the city walls and admiring the panorama of the city and the magnificent landscapes surrounding Girona, including the Pyrenees.
How to get to Girona from Barcelona?
If you plan your day tour from the capital of Catalonia, there are two comfortable ways to get there using public transport. Our favorite is to take a train from Barcelona Sants. There are at least two trains per hour, including fast trains (38 min journey), as well as regional (1 h 40 min journey). The prices start at 11€.
The second option is to take a bus from Barcelona Nord. You will get to Girona in approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes and the ticket price is approximately 14.5€.
If you want a bit more guidance, you can also arrange for a half-day trip to Girona from Barcelona. Travel on an airconditioned bus with a guide to Girona and learn about the history of the city. Check for prices and availability here.
Day Trip to Figueres from Barcelona
Figueres is located 150 km (93 miles) north of Barcelona. Although a small town, it has a major tourist attraction and in my opinion is worth a visit: the Dali Museum.
Salvador Dali was a surrealistic painter and artist that helped sculpt the face of Spanish art and surrealism. His museum is an ode to his work, the relationship between function and open space and other surrealist artists of today and the past.
I stayed overnight in Figueres, but it can easily be visited on a day trip from Barcelona. You can even combine it perfectly with a visit to Girona, for example with a tour of Girona and Figueres (entrance tickets included). Check for times and dates here.
How to get to Figueres from Barcelona
From Barcelona Sants and Passeig de Gracia, you can take several trains to Figueres. Take the (slower) regional train that will take approximately 2 hours. If you want to take the high-speed train, expect to pay a little more, but then you’ll arrive in Figueres from Barcelona in 1,5 hours. From the train station of Figueres, it is a 10-15 minutes walk to the museum. But take your time to explore the small streets and many tapas bars in Figueres too!
Rather take the bus to Figueres and Girona? Consider the unlimited travel pass to visit both Girona and Figueres in one day! Check for rates here.
Day Trip to Andorra from Barcelona
Since you’re already experiencing one of the most amazing cities of Spain, why not leave some time from your itinerary to explore a whole different country? The Principality of Andorra is one of the smallest countries in Europe, squeeze between Spain and France in the Pyrenees. This tiny but sovereign state is a perfect day trip from Barcelona!
Andorra is an all-year-round destination. During summer you can explore the nature of this mountainous micronation, look for centuries-old mansions and churches, stroll through the small capital city, Andorra la Vella, where you’ll find handicraft shops, plenty of restaurants and chic cafés, and galleries showcasing local art.
The country is also known for its duty-free and tax haven status, so you can indulge in a shopping spree. If you visit in winter, you’ll be able to enjoy skiing and other snow sports, with plenty of ski resorts for you to choose from.
No matter when you visit, don’t miss the capital’s main sights: Casa de la Vall, a 16th century manor house that served as the country’s Parliament from 1702 to 2011; Església de Sant Esteve, a stone Romanesque church, with a bell tower that dates back to the 12th century; and Noblesse du Temps, one of the many interesting pieces of art displayed around the city.
How to get to Andorra from Barcelona
The journey takes you on a beautiful road through the valleys, lakes, and mountains. You can get there by bus if you want to explore independently (Andorra Direct Bus and ALSA offer this route for about €50 round-trip). The journey takes three hours and buses run several times each day. Alternatively, join an organized day tour, which also will include a stop in the French village of Ax Les Themes and the Spanish village of Baga.
Day Trip from Barcelona: Wine and Cava in the Penedès Region
Did you know that in the region of Cataluyna they make some of the best Spanish wines and cavas? No, me neither. Until I took a day trip from Barcelona to explore the Penedès region and learned about wine and cava.
This tour is really amazing. You get to drink some of the best wines of Spain, learn about the history of Catalunya, winemaking and visit 2 wineries and a cava house. And not just any cava house, probably the most famous one: Freixenet.
Bodegas Jean Leon
We left Barcelona and Plaça de Catalunya early morning and drove by bus to the Penedès region, south-east of Barcelona. I didn’t even know it existed, but the guide, slowly walked us through the information and before we know it, we arrived at Bodegas Jean Leon. The famous Hollywood La Scala owner who turned himself into a winemaker. We got to taste different varieties of grapes from the vines and explored the winery.
Paired with some tapas snacks, we got to taste our first wine of today: a bold red one. The wine of Jean Leon is made only from grapes grown on their land. They don’t buy grapes from elsewhere and mix it.
We continued our tour for more wine at a different bodega. The family-run Bodegas Torres was considerably bigger than Jean Leon, but it still had that small family charm. We toured the estate and the wine cellars before we were challenged for wine and cheese-paring.
We tested 4 different wines and had to pair them with typical Catalan cheese to discover the change in taste of both the wine and the cheese. As you might know, I’m crackers about cheese and don’t mind a glass of wine either, so this was straight up my alley.
When you say Cava, you probably mean the cavas by Freixenet. This huge producer of Spanish sparkling wine owns several estates and cellars across Catalunya. We visited the main visitor center and toured the production facilities by toy train. In no-time, we learned about the production of Cavas and how best to store them. And drink them.
The drinking came later but was equally fun as it was paired with a few typical (and delicious) tapas. I’m not even sure how I managed to taste everything but we had 2 different types of Cavas to taste again.
How to arrange your wine and cava tour from Barcelona
If you’re into wine and food and love to learn more about Spanish wine and the making of Cava, this tour is just perfect for you. I loved that we could just hop on the bus and be guided through the different bodegas by very knowledgeable guides. And we got to taste a lot of wine. And Cava!
You can check availability and prices here. Make sure to book ahead and get a -10% online discount via this link.
The best day trips from Barcelona
As you can see from the above, there are so many Barcelona day trips to choose from for a day of fun. I hope these 8 destinations inspire you to leave Barcelona for one day and explore the surrounding area. You might not be able to do all of them in one visit, but it gives you the best day trips from Barcelona to choose from and have a wonderful day.
What is your favorite Barcelona day trip? Or which one are you most keen to try when you visit Barcelona? Share it in the comment section below or share this with your friends!